Here's a look at a new exhibit GHS just completed installing recently at Lyndhurst National Trust Historic Site, in Tarrytown, New York.



In collaboration with the new and fantastic director, the furniture was selected, and the exhibition was designed and produced by Geoff Howell Studio, which built the walls, the risers, installed all of the contents of the show, and lit them, all in the old Carriage House on the property. Geoff also designed and produced a gothic arch based on the architecture of the house, which is the surround for the signage at the entrance to the exhibit.

Arch custom made with layered mdf

 The exhibition will be there for your viewing pleasure all summer, and is just the tip of the iceberg of extraordinary design overload.In conjunction with the magnificent mansion and grounds, freshly refined and recharged, it is well worth the trip!
The exhibit features furniture and other pieces that are original to the house from the mid 19th century in the Rococo Revival style, all in rosewood and ebony, (one signed by  J. Meeks, a notable New York furniture maker),  and then again in the 1870's in the Renaissance Revival style preferred by then owner uber rich financier Jay Gould. ( there is a black and white period photograph of the room included below)





Most notable are the Herter Brothers pieces, (some in salmon colored upholstery, a table with elaborate inlay work, small lacquered and gilt chairs, mirror, easel, etc )  the Herter Bros. were considered among the very best interior and furniture designers of their time (one large matching piece of this suite is on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art). They were the designers of many important interiors of the day, including the Vanderbilt's opulent over-the-top Fifth Avenue home, and work at the White House.

Also of note are the stained glass windows, attributed to another 19th century design star, John La Farge, and a large landscape by Courbet.  Included from the house are some fine old paris porcelain vases, a very delicate bronze statue, some marble sculptures, a large persian carpet, and some later Aesthetic Movement japanese-inspired Herter Brothers pieces. it was quite an honor to work with such amazing objects!




The Herter Brothers suite, including the settee, four side chairs, two arm chairs, and the magnificent center table. Shown above the settee is a japonesque rosewood framed mirror, used over the mantle in the parlor, along with some of the old paris porcelain vases from the collection. (old paris is a generic term for all of the finest french porcelain manufacturers that were centered around Paris, which eventually became Limoges, among others-they were largely unsigned from the early to mid 19th century)
The Herter suite, and the large Courbet landscape hanging on the wall to the left.



detail of table top inlay

A delicate gilt and inlaid Herter side chair.


Three of the five original stained glass windows, part of the Herter Brothers interior design scheme for Jay Gould, and attributed to John LaFarge. In the foreground is a pair of Aesthetic Movement inspired black lacquered chairs, also made by Herter.

A period photograph of the Merritt Parlor showing the furniture on exhibit, in its original arrangement.


The Rococo Revival Merritt suite from the 1850's, all made of rosewood solids and veneers.


Detail of the marble topped rosewood Merritt center table


The Benzoni sculpture of Cupid and Psyche purchased by the Merritt's around 1851, at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London. The other two sculptures are from the same period.


Ebony table to the left, the signed Meeks piece in the middle, marble topped rosewood music cabinet, bronze, all purchased by the Merritts.

Close-up of the detail in the solid ebony side table.






Set of four rosewood side chairs from the Merritt Parlor.